Tendinitis: What is it and How to correct it

What is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis (aka tendinopathy)  is the break down of tendon/muscle in the form of small tears. Some doctors, professionals, and online resources will mention inflammation when in comes to tendinitis, we will talk a bit about this later.

What are the causes?

Overuse and injury. The primary cause in the functional fitness world is too much volume too quickly and poor movement mechanics. Volume should be gradual and proper mechanics should be present along with consistency then intensity can be added.

What are the stages of tendinitis?

Strike 1: Pain after a workout, acute.
Strike 2: Pain while working out, sub-acute. 
Strike 3: Pain during and after workout, chronic.

How to Correct?

There is no one thing that is going to fix the issue but there are a lot of things you can do to help correct and prevent.

  1. Rest
    As soon as the pain surfaces rest. Whatever is causes pain, don’t do those things. Once the pain subsides gradually build volume.

  2. Everyday Life
    Look in your everyday life and see what might be contributing to the tendinitis (or any other pain you have, frankly). For example I was having pain in my elbow when rope climbing and doing ring muscle-ups. I realized that I was leaning on my elbow while working all day. I stopped leaning on the elbow and the pain subsided.

  3. Proper Technique and Form Correction
    Early pulling is a major contributor to elbow tendinitis with movements like rope climbs, snatching, cleaning, pull-ups, rowing, skiing, etc. By correcting form we reduce the load and stress on the given joint which will reduce the liking hold of developing tendinitis.

  4. Eccentric Movements
    Eccentric movements are the lengthening of muscles under load. These movements help change neuromuscular control, change tendon length, and structural changes. This is done by overloading the tendon to restructure it. Examples of eccentric movements would be curl negatives for the elbow and tempo squats for the knee.

  5. Recovery Tools

    1. Voodoo Bands

    2. Scraping

    3. FlexBar

    4. Bracing / Compression

    5. Needling

    6. Temperature (heat/cold)

Note on Inflammation

Many doctors, professionals, and online resources will mention inflammation as a culprit for tendinitis. However if we are eating real whole food and a healthy balance of Omega 3 vs Omega 6 fatty acids we should not have an issue with inflammation. Staying away from inflammatory foods such as sugar, grains, trans-fat, alcohol, omega 6’s, dairy, MSG, and processed foods will help reduce inflammation.

Thank you to Kaiti Mariangeli for helping with research on this post. 

Do you have any questions about tendinitis? Did we miss something that helped you?

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